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Neighborhood Report

Workshop focuses on adolescent girls

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 10, 2003

Tampa's Ophelia Project kicks off a two-day workshop today to guide girls ages 10 and up to make safe, smart decisions.

Sue Wellman, founder of the national Ophelia Project and an expert on adolescent behavior, will speak on healing a culture in crisis, based on Mary Pipher's book, The Shelter of Each Other. Pipher is also author of Reviving Ophelia.

Other topics include how to be an effective mentor and how to recognize normal adolescent development. The workshops run today from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tampa Preparatory School, 727 Cass St. All sessions are free and open to adults and children.

Four other leaders will moderate discussions to develop a safe, social environment for young girls.

Tampa's Ophelia Project started six months ago to create programs dealing with health, body image and peer pressure, according to Nancy Dalence, director of communications.

Three middle schools will soon launch clubs using older girls to mentor younger girls. At the high school level, girls advisory councils are forming at Plant High School and the Academy of the Holy Names to get teens talking about peer aggression.

Parent study groups and book clubs are also in the works.

Call 760-0577 for more information about the Ophelia Project.

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